For five minutes Alana Cutland struggled with the pilot and an assistant. Then the British student jumped out of the plane, facing her death. According to her uncle Lester Riley, she must have been hallucinating and therefore it was not her intention to commit suicide.
Alana Cutland (19) had traveled to Madagascar to investigate a rare crab species. It had to be a six-week dream trip. After six days, however, the girl was in a terrible state: she had already had five panic attacks and was completely exhausted by the stress. Her parents, after some insistence, managed to convince her to return to the UK early.
However, her miserable mental state caused great unrest. To the extent that they managed to convince a friend to guide their daughter on her return. With a Cessna that they had rented themselves, the duo would fly together from the island of Anjajavy to the airport of Madagascar. From there they would – with another stopover in Paris – set course for London.
On the first flight, however, it went wrong. Alana Cutland opens the door at an altitude of 1,500 meters and tried to throw herself down. Ruth Johnson clung to her legs but had to release her grip after a few minutes. The pilot, too, could not stop her anymore, the girl collapsed unknowingly into the pit. It is feared that her body in that jungle with wild animals will never be found again.
The police are investigating whether a bad reaction to malaria at the basis of the drama. In rare cases, Lariam and Malarone can cause paranoia, depressive feelings, hallucinations and even thoughts of suicide.
Her uncle Lester Riley, however, wipes the track off the table. “She also took it last year for her trip and then nothing was wrong. Another drug must have been the culprit. For us, this is a tragic accident and not a suicide. Alana had no reason to want to die, she was much too happy to live for that. She never had mental problems before. She didn’t feel well there, something must have made her sick and cause it to hallucinate.”
Ominous phone calls
The last phone calls with her mother felt ominous. “She could only mutter. Everyone wondered what was going on. Alana initially wanted to continue her journey, but in the end, she listened to her mother’s good advice.”
“My sister called the embassy to ask for help. There they advised her to first consult a doctor in Madagascar and then return to England. Alana agreed, there have been no tensions around that. When I was told what had happened, I was perplexed. We are all going to miss her enormously.”
“No word said”
According to the pilot, Alana Cutland did not say a word in the aircraft. “I was still climbing when I suddenly felt a gust of wind and heard Ruth scream. I looked back and saw Alana hanging out of the plane.”
“I immediately started flying straight and tried to close the door again. Ruth, meanwhile, held her legs tightly. We shouted that she should sit back in the device, but she didn’t give a damn. After about five minutes, she finally got rid of herself and she fell. Ruth was hysterical, I returned to the airport. The entire company took around 45 minutes.”
Finally, the authorities in Madagascar shared another striking photo. Volunteers played out how the drama can happen.